The Daily Grind: What would Blizzard need to do to get you back into World of Warcraft?

In last night’s Massively Overthinking on hopes and fears for BlizzCon – which kicks off this afternoon! – I laid out my thoughts on Blizzard’s MMORPG meta, my worry that World of Warcraft’s yet-to-be-formally-announced will bedazzle us with cool, slick ideas… but the studio won’t have learned any lessons from the genre beyond its borders. As a gamer and blogger, I’m thrilled to see some spectacle, no doubt. This is one of my favorite events of the year. But for me to seriously consider going back as an active player, Blizzard would have to do way more than the inevitable free catch-up character booster. And I’m not sure Blizzard is willing to try harder than, say, ArenaNet or ZeniMax to ensnare ex-WoW fans like yours truly – not when the company can more easily snag those desirable “MAUs” in cheaper games in simpler genres.

Assuming you’ve played WoW and aren’t playing now: What would Blizzard need to do to get you back into World of Warcraft?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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152 Comments on "The Daily Grind: What would Blizzard need to do to get you back into World of Warcraft?"

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The Dallas Dapifer🌪
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The Dallas Dapifer🌪

They could probably get a peak from me eventually when I’m really bored but my attention span is so short and crappy these days that I would be bored with it in 2 weeks.

Loyheta
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Loyheta

Meaningful crafting with mechanics and I would love some housing.

oldandgrumpy
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oldandgrumpy

I have moved on from Wow but as a game it is stuck in a rut.

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Teala Te'Jir

Total graphics overhaul, and reboot of the game that included a lot of sandbox game play.

Cadaver
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Cadaver

I’m an ex-player rather than an ex-fan. There is no possibility of me returning.

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donvweel

WoW had a fair bit going for it in terms of a huge world and flying mounts. The questing and crafting where not too bad. I enjoyed the extra pvp maps like Wintergrasp. It was my first main MMO, after playing other games I tried returning but it just was too outdated in graphics. Both the character models and the world. I play DDO and people say it is dated graphics but I think it acceptable enough for immersion which WoW is not. Plus the one two three combat button sequence is boring. Fighting with my Shaman was like sitting in a turret which does not move and hitting the same keys over and over while watching cooldown levels. For me to return I would need a graphic level at least on par with DDO or LotRO and a more action combat system. The content, lore and world are enough to keep me going.

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Toy Clown

The only way I’d try WoW again is if they did a complete graphics overhaul and made the characters more appealing, and added proper housing. (Was that just a rumor?) I’ve just relented to the idea that WoW isn’t for me, but I’d enjoy the heck out of it if it had BDO type graphics!

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Malakoff

Honestly, only if they did a good free to play option would make me try it again at this point. Maybe, maybe, if they went buy to play like ESO or GW2.

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kimowar101

if a game isn’t worth paying for why would you waste your time on it?

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Raimo Kangasniemi

Never going back – my WoW addiction took a good chunk out of my college years that I should have used more wisely. ;)

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Bannex

Quick build up the WoW bashing right before an expansion announcement so we can easily keep tally of all the Internet warlords that are full of shit!

I expect apologies from all of the haters when the expansion announcement drops and you instantly flip sides. Especially you eliot!

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Robert Mann

You won’t get any from me (but then again I have actually stuck to my guns and not bought or played their games since I got to the point of no return with them.) :P

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Robert Mann

Two things:
1. Apologize for telling me that you define words and not the dictionary. That was the point of no return with your customer relations, and there’s absolutely no way I am giving you a pass on it Blizzard. You had the choice to say some ridiculous crap like that, or to say “We made a mistake.” You chose ridiculous crap which blamed the players, and that’s a hard stop.

2. Make the game something that interests me going forward. This one seems even less likely than the first point, given the trend. And I know the first is about as likely as having a nice relaxing political discussion with not a single lie or personal attack…

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VioletArrows

Ugh. Draenor was only meh, but I quit Legion after 2 months totally disgusted.

I never want to see anything like Suramar ever again. I did like 4 quests and died 5 times before I just left the zone forever.

What’s the point of better gear if the monsters just scale and still make me feel like I’m hitting with a wet noodle, meanwhile I get two-shot? I hate level scaling so much.

Trying to keep me around by making quests take *months* is a good way to make me quit immediately.

Just let me pay for flying, and then don’t dick me over by immediately making the new content a no fly zone. *flips bird mount*

They keep bringing back that damn mission table. Burn it.

Burn “artifact weapons” too. Artifact knowledge and research and everything surrounding it was a nightmare. *throws all those little things that took 10 spots in my bags in the trash*

So much more, but now my blood pressure’s up and I don’t want to think about it anymore.

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Bannex

Hated suramar, I totally agree. I hope they don’t make something like that again.

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Jeremy Barnes

It’s pretty nebulous. They keep changing up the way the base of the game works and they there’s a sort of attitude of….we know what’s good for you or a you’re gonna eat this cake regardless…

I’d need to see progress that they understand the wider player base beyond the folks who will never quit. Some sort of stability to the core game systems in place of we don’t like talent trees this week…and this next week we don’t like the system we replaced talent trees with…

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Pål Einar Jensen

Did everyone say Vanilla servers yet? I would be back right away if I could play on an official Vanilla server.

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teppic

Launching legacy servers would do it instantly, but that won’t happen while they still make new expansions.

Otherwise less focus on instant gratification and easy single player content. Make HCs relevant for the duration of the expansion, not just the first few weeks.

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teppic

Well, answering myself, I didn’t see that coming! Blizzard has me back.

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starbuck1771

As long as their are assholes out there running bootleg servers it isn’t going to happen. Blizz will not cave to internet thieves.

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Jeremy Barnes

what sort of drugs did you take to arrive at that twisted logic?

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starbuck1771

I took a dose of reality how about you?

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Jeremy Barnes

The best way to shut down the bootleg servers is to fill the demand. If Blizzard has no interest in filling the demand then reason would dictate that has to with profit rather than some made up desire to not cave into “Internet thieves”.

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teppic

Yup, this move has instantly killed private vanilla servers. The main one (Light’s Hope) has said they’ll make an announcement within 12 hours, most likely to say they will shut down.

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nobleeinherjar

Player housing and a new crafting profession for making furniture. That would go a long way in making me want to return. Also maybe wind back the clock on some class changes. It’s so stupid to me that a class like Rogue has had its full bag of tricks split up between various specs. Oh, and Hunter tank spec, please. (Yes it could too work!)

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Paragon Lost

Make things mean something, stop reinventing the wheel every freaking expansion. Instead build upon what works, improve what needs to improve. Nothing about your time in WOW means anything. :/

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Ironweakness

It’s not so much what they need to do, but what I would like them not to do (but they will anyway). They need to quit radically changing classes and/or specs every expansion. So far in every expansion I’ve played, I’ve had to switch classes because they have fundamentally changed the way my main character played, removing the parts of the class I enjoyed.

That’s really it though. I always enjoy playing the new expansions for a little while at least so I’m bound to play again once they release whatever is next. I’d just like the process of choosing my class for the new expansion to feel less like getting an eviction notice.

Goettel
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Goettel

Add great housing, I’m thinking phased guild towns and housing-specific crafting professions, a real seasonal cycle, structured and encouraged open world PvP, perfect down-leveling and continued relevance of low level mats for high level crafting, a modern graphics engine, greatly improved, expanded, more attractive and more easily organized world quests, far better QoL features for alting, more interesting mounts, a better, more layered crafting system, VR support, if only for spectators, no more level cap raising EVER, bring back old gear skins (miss my silly blue Elements dress), greatly expand and broaden transmutations (and add dyes), drop add-ons and make player skill > iLevel.

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Mark Mealman

For me it’d take a total reboot, like WoW2 or a WoW reloaded or something. The idea of logging back into WoW with my level 70 or 80 or whatever character and grinding up to whatever cap is these days(110, 120?) and needing to learn 10 or 20 new ability/mechanics/whatever in addition to the 20 or so items on my old hotbar is just a total turn off.

I’ve be very very interested in returning to the WoW world, but it’d need to be a completely new game with simplified, fun mechanics. Preferably with a low level cap, few combat abilities, and a more action oriented combat system.

Essentially they’d need to dump all the bloat.

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silverlock

I think expansions typically come with one level boost, so if you get legion you get one boost to 100 and then just need to level to 110 which can easily be done in a week. Now days it’s all about the item level grind.

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Greaterdivinity

Preferably BC servers, but pretty much anything between vanilla through LK would do.

There’s really nothing that can be done to the current game that doesn’t involve extremely major changes to the game in its current form that would remotely tempt me to come back.

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Mr Poolaty

CONSOLE.

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A Dad Supreme

Probably the thing they seem loathe to do most; start a Everquest II-like progression server.

The game is far too advanced with this, that and the other for me to understand everything that’s going on 13 years later.

Advanced toons don’t help as throwing me into the mix with a level 100 (that alone should let Blizzard know it’s a problem for many) doesn’t really help me get up to speed, but makes me feel further behind.

shame
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shame

Make leveling fun again by removing the 1-hit kill on all monsters around your level range.

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Oleg Chebeneev
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Darthbawl

Equally tantalizing question: what would Blizzard have to do to get our Queen Naysayer of WOW (aka MJ) to actually play WOW? :P

(Yes, this is a totally dangerous question LOL) *runs into bunker*

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Armsbend

Not everyone wants level scaling. One of my favorite things about RPGs from my first one at 8 years old to now is getting your head bashed in > leveling up > going back to zones later and wrecking havoc on everything that once gave you fits!

I got bored of ESO because of level scaling.

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Hirku

I agree level scaling is not the solution, but something does need to be done.

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Robert Mann

I think the solutions to leaving empty areas of the world lie in things other than combat. BDO offered a great showing of that, even if nothing else for player interaction short of the PvP wars was really part of the game.

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Apollymi

Yeppers, when SWTOR did this is when I lost interest in that game too.

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Apollymi

Vanilla (up to but not including Cataclysm). Or give me back my hunter before Legion killed her. Haven’t played since last September so don’t know what they’ve done if anything to the class.

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Oleg Chebeneev

If I had a penny every time Ive heard: “They killed my X class in this Y expansion” starting with TBC, I would be richer then Bill Gates

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Bannex

Keep doing what they’re doing. Still the best mmo out there.

Aelzen
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Aelzen

Honestly, at this point, nothing. All the bad and boring can’t be undone. Cataclysm onwards just feels like the B team took over, and it only gets worse the further along the timeline you go.

Polyanna
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Polyanna

I’m playing it now and have been since Legion launch, but for a few month break, so . . .

If they want me to get excited about staying around for “what’s next,” then level scaling all of the old world zones and making endgame relevant content pervasive through all of them would be a great start.

Also, delete titanforging and legendaries as they currently exist and give us back an endgame gearing scheme that doesn’t require a cloud computing infrastructure to figure out what gloves I should wear. And replace character-bound artifact talent trees with some sort of coherent account wide perk progression like ESO’s Champion system.

If they could see their way through to opening some sort of classic realms with a level 60 cap and Vanilla-ish mechanics and world maps and no flying or heirlooms or group finder to tide us over from when the last big content dump of Legion gets stale to the next expansion launch, that would just be gravy.

Chances are though, I’ll be around for whatever it is that comes next.

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voydd

WoW 2.

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Loopy

I generally come back to WoW with each new expansion, although my total time in each appears to be dwindling. This won’t change with the new expansion, but i do believe there are certain elements that would get me to stay a lot longer:

– Return to twitch healing, big heal bombs style
– Harder content, promotion of group content
– Less grimdark super serious themes where the world is about to end (yet again)
– No locking out content or storyline behind regulated grind (“collect 80 shards over 2 months”)
– Officially supported/sanctioned classic servers
– Re-utilization of old zones
– More adventure style quest chains
– Higher quality storylines (i personally found the last 2 expansions to be very “vanilla” when it comes to the storytelling)

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Oleg Chebeneev

Confused about last one. Arent WoD and Legion the best expansions for storytelling?

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Loopy

I would say they have the best mechanism for delivering the story, but the actual content of said story i found to be subpar, predictable, and honestly kinda cheesy.

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Armsbend

FFXI used to do their expansions/updates like this: super grimdark world is going to end > then light, dumb and fun for the next one. Repeat.

I used to like that cadence. Serious world changing then dumb costumes in fairy worlds back to emo classes world is ending.

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Hirku

I like it too, I call it the Star Trek IV Effect.

taradyne
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taradyne

I played from vanilla through Cataclysm with a full account of 50 chars across a dozen servers, then came back during Pandaria and leveled up my main. But I didn’t buy Warlords or Legion and even though my guild is still around I can’t imagine going back to WoW because:

1. The story is just tired. Give me an in-game reason to come back and be a hero for something. Give me fresh, engaging story that hasn’t been retconned and tweaked to be palatable. Give me personalized story moments that make me feel like a wannabe hero caught up in something epic (I know you can do this because of the Wrathgate). I want immersion, dammit!

2. I want housing, not garrisons. Build instances for housing out of existing art assets in each of the cities. Make those open buildings into apartment lobbies players can use to enter their personal spaces (instances). Even if you do it with old-fashioned décor hooks (a la LOTRO) it would be a huge improvement and keep players coming back to the cities. Add housing objects to loot tables across the board and players will run old content forever trying to get items they want.

3. I’m no longer in the target audience. Shift the endgame to include more of the “fluff” that players have been asking for. WoW has always been about the endgame, which for Blizzard is raiding. They’ve included more fluff over the past several years, but pet battles are not enough to make me come back.

Wow was my first mmo and I’ll always have fond memories of my significant time in the game. But without the above, I’ll never even consider going back.

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Oleg Chebeneev

F2P model

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Hirku

I’d be right back out the door if they did that. I’ve had enough of that crap to last a lifetime.

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Vincent Clark

F2P would ruin this game. No matter how bad you may think it is now, F2P would make it much, much worse.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Its probably why 98% MMORPGs are F2P. Cuz F2P “ruins” games /s
In my honest opinion F2P model is the single best thing that happened to the genre in its 25 years history.

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Vincent Clark

The top 2 MMORPGs right now are sub only–WoW and FFXIV. 1,000 crap MMORPGs that just happen to be F2P are still crap MMORPGs.

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kimowar101

those 2 games also don’t need to use p2w and cash shop gimmicks, dev’s know people who want everything free, are never gonna be actual customers.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Top in what? Amount of players? Well, they arent. Dungeon Fighter Online has hundreds of millions registered users and been #1 most played MMO in China for quite a while. And there are many asian MMOs that boast millions of players. All of them are F2P ofc.

Also most major western MMOs like LoTRO and Secret World are also F2P.

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Rumm

That already exists. Play the game for a week and you’ll have enough gold to buy a token. I haven’t paid for my sub the past 3 times that I’ve tried to go back and play around with new content in Legion.

Minimalistway
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Minimalistway

Honestly, subscribing is one major reason keeping me playing the game, i can access all the content, the simplicity of this business model is so underrated, i don’t need to think about the cash shop.

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Oleg Chebeneev

WoW already has cash shop

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Hirku

Compared to what else is out there, It’s more like a mall kiosk than a shop.

Minimalistway
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Minimalistway

I know, mounts, pets, 2 helmets and services, nothing i need or want, i keep playing the game for years without buying anything form it, this is different than other business models and you know that.

In other games they offer gear or items or cosmetics, not to mention lockboxes, there is a difference between these 2 business models and you know it.

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Armsbend

This is also the reason anyone complains about the vanilla servers they just want to play the emulators for free while being left alone by blizzard.

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kimowar101

and then you will complain they added lockboxes……just pay for your hobby already.

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Oleg Chebeneev

I never complained about lockboxes in any MMORPG ever. I couldnt care less

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kimowar101

then you will complain about some other p2w mechanic, F2P has hurt the genre for paying players…….period.

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Utakata

…they should also add F2P servers too, where Rogues can’t open lockboxes. o.O

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ichi sakari

so much, none of which they’ll do

update graphics
focus, no more indiana jones or pandas
de-carebear de-casual
adventure, exploration, discovery, achievement – not dailies and repetition
de-homogenize classes
make crafting relevant
housing
true character progression – end the endless gear treamill
level scale the world
randomize mobs and encounters
restore meaningful community interaction – end the 3D lobby
free box and expacs but keep the sub
lootboxes! (j/k)
more elf-butts

hell if you think about it they need to start over, ’cause its borked now

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Utakata

PS: Also add Open World PvP servers…not that’s something I want. But it would keep the “de-carebear de-casual” types out of our PvE hair and pigtails, while attracting those who are out for the gank sport. Just saying.

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thalendor

It’s probably best not to conflate “de-carebear de-casual” types with open world PvPers. I could be fit into the former group, but not the latter. I’ve definitely griped more than once about some of the changes to WoW over the years that, in my opinion, have made much of the game world too easy, too solo-friendly and the like, but you’re not going to ever catch me signing up for an open world PvP server.

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Utakata

Talking about conflating, it’s problematic if you consider “too easy” is equated to “too solo-friendly”. But I digress…

…so what about a MMO world where we all have choices? Where if one where to PvP, they can. Or if one where to do everything in groups, they can. Or if one wanted to solo to their hearts content, they can. Or if one wanted to explore all the world passed endgame content, they can. Or if wants to raid till they drop, they can. And so on. All will be rewarded appreciably for their efforts. Yet no player is ever forced to do anything they don’t want to do.

That’s how MMO’s including WoW should be. Yet, this is not being suggested here to bring players back. Instead a whole bunch of terrible ideas that would likely drive everyone else away. Because they can’t simply concede that what they like not everyone else will like. Just saying again.

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thalendor

I’m not conflating too easy and too solo-friendly, I just think too much of WoW is currently both of those things. Anyway…

I’m really of a different opinion on this matter. I think WoW is already as close as we’re going to get to an MMO that pleases the largest number of people. Instead of trying to create an MMO that makes everyone happy, I’d like to see more MMOs which try instead to please a target audience: a game for the soloers, a game for the groupers, a game for sandbox lovers, a game for PvPers, etc. That doesn’t mean a game focused on group content can’t have some stuff that can be done solo or that a game that allows most of the world to be soloed can’t have some stuff that requires a group, but the definitive focus would be on one and not the other. Ideally, as long as a target audience is big enough to support it, I would love to see someone create an MMO targetting that audience.

So where you see a bunch of people wanting to pull WoW in a direction that would drive everyone else away, I see a bunch of people who would best be served by different games.

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Utakata

“I’m not conflating too easy and too solo-friendly, I just think too much of WoW is currently both of those things.”

Well…thanks for clarifying that. Though stringing those together the way you posted it, it looked like it was a big hint of conflating.

And no, I believe I wasn’t conflating anything either. More if it’s more of the troll phrase of “de-carebear’ing” you want, be careful what you wish for. o.O

“Instead of trying to create an MMO that makes everyone happy, I’d like to see more MMOs which try instead to please a target audience: a game for the soloers, a game for the groupers, a game for sandbox lovers, a game for PvPers, etc. “

Not only are you saying the same thing here, but saying the same thing I just said. Even if you seem to be approaching it from a “some gameplay choices are more equal than others” position. As the target audience is most players who are interesting in playing WoW. It’s a perfect opportunity for Blizz to divest the gameplay styles from the coercion of one gameplay style fits all. (Though this doesn’t appear to be happening in their next expansion, lol.)

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thalendor

de-carebear’ing

Wasn’t my term originally… was just quoting you quoting the original poster. :-) But it’s fair to say I want a PvE experience that’s tuned to be a bit tougher on average than most of WoW (I say most since WoW definitely has challenge, it’s just confined to specific portions of the game, such as raids) but suffice it to say I want nothing to do with open world PvP.

Not only are you saying the same thing here, but saying the same thing I just said.

Are we? When I read what you say, it seems to me like you’re saying Blizzard should make WoW something that appeals to everyone. Perhaps I’m misinterpreting you. I would like to see more MMOs each focused on different core audience… I guess if that’s what you’re also getting at, well, then I guess we’ll have to agree to agree or something.

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Utakata

Yep, I wasn’t making that claim. If peeps are not interested in playing WoW (or other MMO’s), there would be no way of pleasing them. :)

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Utakata

It’s not a question of what they do to draw me back, but rather what they would do to keep there. So to answer that would be to push envelopes in the latitude, enough with the mythic/raid nonsense already and please, no more pruning…that is, add to our classes/specs and not take away from them instead.

Liandreth
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Liandreth

I’m easy. New expansion. I’ll play it for a bit.

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Open_Mind66

Server consolidation with free character transfers so that the lower pop servers once emptied can then be converted into legacy servers.

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Armsbend

Not bad idea maybe.

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Apollymi

Interesting idea. I like it.

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Reselect Name

They ruined it beyond repair.

It’s too goofy, too carebear, too dumbed down, too casual, too linear, too repetitive.

kjempff
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kjempff

Yeah, well theoretically it is not impossible to turn it around, but that would require them to admit having made poor design choices, and in a huge organisation that just doesn’t happen (the only way something like that ever happens is by making a sequel so no one lose face).
So yeah ruined beyond repair, in the way that building on top of current design&mechanics is not a path to take, if I should consider coming back.

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Utakata

I am pretty sure going the “hardcore, cupcake” route would work out really “well” as it did for WildStar originally…

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Fisty

Go free to play. Do a classic server with many of their modern amenities, restart the whole progression process and include flying in the original world. Or make a sequel with most of what they released of the world of Azeroth included at the get-go, with better graphics, be less grindy for gear drops.

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johnwillo

I agree with most of that, but I think that they should remove flying entirely. Not that I don’t enjoy it, but the contortions that they’ve had to go through to keep people from bypassing content ever since it was introduced have detracted from the game. IMHO, of course.

Line
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Line

Free to play.

I mean, let’s be real here, I’m not going to come back as long as the sub is here, and looking at the market, I’m not the only one.
I’ll never manage to get my friends back/start WoW after all these years with box+sub+expansions+cash shop. It’s a tough sell.

Now after that, they’d need to keep me playing. Kind of the point of MMOs.
And for that, it’s a complete model change. I don’t give a rat’s ass about their shitty gear grind model making everything everywhere obsolete.
Fixing it is more complicated than the crappy scaling that they tried so… I’m not too hopeful. It bred an entire generation of MMO players to only consider palette swapped epics to throw away with each patch as the only model in existence.

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kimowar101

and then you will complain because they added lockboxes so others can support your hobby.

Line
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Line

I actually really don’t care about lootboxes.
I dislike them as much as anyone (not to the point of sending death threats to EA, though), but ultimately… I don’t buy them, so it’s irrelevant to me.

Having to pay $15 to access a game that I bought, including multiple expansions, years of sub and a couple of random shit on the side?
Now that’s a million times worse than the latest shitty lootbox that drops from the sky in Call of Duty.

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kimowar101

and you just made my point….. you are not willing to pay your fair share in a sub, and not willing to pay so dev’s have to invent ways for others to pay for your hobby. thus we have loot boxes.
As a paying customer I refuse to support your gaming and will never play a f2p game.

Line
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Line

Nope, I have no “fair share” to pay.
Competitors offer me the same thing without the extortion money every month, so I don’t pay for a sub.

Others can pay as much as they want. I saw what I got with the sub: expansions bumped to $50, a cash shop, a year of waiting major patches, no more game masters and only bots “resolving” issues.

It’s your money, you can do whatever you want with it.
I already chose to buy different products years ago with mine.

So, now how do they bring me back? Not by offering the same terrible service, really.
The price being a big deal.

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kimowar101

see by your own view, Games should not cost anything….. But games are very expensive to make…. someone has to pay and what we are starting to see now is the f2p model failing long term as customers move on, the non payers complain and the remaining customers are squeezed harder to support the game.
at least with a sub, everyone paid the same amount and had the entire game, everyone on equal playing field, dev’s working on more content to retain customers, not some cash shop…….you are not a customer and not the targeted audience. Dev’s are wising up, in the next few years you will have to pony up for your hobby.

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thalendor

Going free-to-play is something that would make it less likely I’d go back. WoW is one of the few refuges out there where I don’t need to worry about running into gambleboxes and/or an in-your-face cash store. (Yes, I know WoW’s got a cash shop, but I don’t ever feel like I’m having it pushed on me on a regular basis.) No, I rather like just paying for the expansion & subscription when I feel like playing WoW and being free of those things.

styopa
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styopa

That’s a great question.

The quick reply would be to say “bring back a classic server” but that’s almost flippant, and I think the question deserves a more serious response.

I played World of Warcraft from month three until about eight (?) years in, abandoning the game at the end of Cataclysm.

I’ve come back for each expansion tried it for up to a month and just gotten bored and moved on. I was pretty certain that I was just tired of the same old content and done with the game.

World of Warcraft had nothing to offer me until recently when I started to play on private vanilla servers. It’s not rose-colored glasses to say the game was -astonishingly- fun again. It’s hard. It’s not for everybody, and I can easily understand how some people would not enjoy what vanilla used to be. A bit of a shock to me: I was finding I had MUCH more fun leveling a character from 0 to 20 in vanilla that I had at 60+ in retail.

So what I want, simply put, is a harder game.

Doesn’t have to be harder for everybody, really, it can just be harder for me. Not just talking about not using heirloom items or a slower XP game; I’m talking about time to kill. I’m talking about stat amplification. I’m talking about needing to cooperate because you cannot do everything yourself, alone. Item drops with ridiculous scaling (that started in tbc, btw). I’m talking about instances the take an hour to run instead of instances where everybody gets fed up if you’re not done in 20 minutes. I’m talking character development where you have to make serious sober choices because your choices matter and can’t be easily undone without a ton of work.

And I can (& have already) ultimately accept it if the market has moved on from these paradigms. If the game community wants a much simpler MMO experience where everything can be done solo you don’t need friends, you don’t need groups, and you don’t need to commit any time, I get it, I’m not the mainstream where they’ll make the most money. It’s a business. You asked what would bring ME back to the game.

But then I would point out that King syndicate makes billions of dollars from Candy Crush. Is that all we’re going to get from MMO’s today? Is that really all we can expect if game devs chase the commercial lowest common denominator? (Don’t get me wrong; I like mindless web games as much as the next guy I just don’t want that to be my next mmo.)

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Apollymi

Yep, vanilla was hard is some ways. As a soloing priest, it took planning and strategy to kill some of the mobs.

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Schmidt.Capela

Actually, apart from dungeons and a couple quests that required multiple players due to mechanics rather than difficulty, you could do everything alone. Back in Vanilla I would seek Elite quests above my character’s level to do solo for the added challenge, as any non-elite quest was kinda on the easy side.

BTW, time to kill isn’t necessarily related to difficulty. Bullet sponges aren’t hard to kill, just tedious.

styopa
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styopa

Sorry to call you out, but that’s simply bullshit.

“I would seek Elite quests above my character’s level to do solo for the added challenge, as any non-elite quest was kinda on the easy side.”

Aside from narrow circumstantial builds (level-capped toons with ample fire-resist gear for fire-using mobs) or extremely skilled hunters/rogues (who had an ‘out’ when stuff inevitably would go sideways), soloing elites in Vanilla was neither common nor easy.

I was the class-lead hunter (for a time) in one of the leading raiding guilds on Eldre’Thalas. I *taught* baby hunters how to solo elites, and we were regularly castigated for being OP by other classes.

If you were actually good enough to regularly solo group/elite quests, you’d have no illusions about how very hard it could be.

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Schmidt.Capela

Neither easy nor common, no. But perfectly doable.

My character of choice for that was a paladin with a build specialized in soloing hard content, which mixed talents from all three roles to make sure I could take down just about anything not tuned for a full 5-man group.

And yeah, I could take down elites quickly and reliably enough to do elite quests. Did I sometimes die? Yes, but choosing content where I had a fair chance of death was the whole point; if it’s possible for me to be sure I won’t die, then I consider the game too easy for me.

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agemyth 😩

Release another expansion.

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starbuck1771

That will clearly happen even though the anti-wow trolls will not like it much.

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rafael12104

Buy themselves out of Activision.

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Armsbend

I’m not sure they don’t run Activision now.

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rafael12104

Hmm. Food for thought.

If that is the case, then, nothing. There is nothing they can do.

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Mark

Maybe incorporate Classic (or even better, add on to existing game as an option for those who want to play 1-60 classic vs. cataclysm), but mostly I would be interested in level scaling (done right, more like ESO, not like SWTOR where it’s scaled too easy), something to keep me from falling asleep while doing lower level content. I’d like some challenge, and no, I don’t want my challenge only from raid/mythic+/etc. Not all challenge should be contained at the end game. I want something to do when I don’t have time to group, or do not wish to group. Also maybe fix the timeline, even if it’s just “Chromie needs you to go back in time to help on Outland and Northrend.”

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Melissa McDonald

a complete graphic overhaul to 2017 quality?

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starbuck1771

So do basically what all the games trying to compete with WoW did to destroy the genre? The lack of high end graphics and need of a super computer is why WoW is so popular and games that have came out since have failed. Believe it or not the majority can’t afford high end systems.

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Cate Mehlos

Real housing and less phased things to bring people out of the world.

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Danny Smith

Beyond losing the current ‘mechanics as sub traps’ design ethos that showed up with Warlords? honestly i dont know. I put 8 years into the game from vanilla onwards and i’ll always have a love for the artstyle and memories of places like Duskwood for the first time but the current team isn’t the team that made those memories for me and looking at warlords and legion the current team doesnt seem to make a game i am interested in.
I still check out the reveals thinking ‘maybe this will be the thing’ but Warlords was more orcs after the Seige patch that killed the game for all my friends and Legion felt like the emergency ‘when in sub freefall’ fanservice expansion.
I guess it would just need to focus on adventure over some big bad they keep telling you is amazing but will just be an lfr loot pinata.

Like remember the Wrath trailer? couple getting off a boat, heading from a settlers new encampment up into the snowy wastes with Arthas narrating the Paladins fall into becoming a Death Knight?

That screamed adventure for adventures sake, it literally says something like “so come then you heros, and know you have been following in my footsteps all along” which for a Warcraft 3 fan was all you had to say to sell us on it.

I’m expecting a random world ending big bad -again- or even worse pushing alliance vs horde right after both exhausted themselves against the legion which would feel ridiculous.

Honestly at this point? i think to sell me on Warcraft again i need a timeskip. Go full 100 years into an industrial revolution. The elves and dreanei and the like are still around and have to deal with maybe being left behind by the newer generations of short lived races “binding the word in iron” to paraphrase terry pratchets line about steam trains coming to the discworld.
Because right now conflict after conflict with no breaks is not just neutering any feelings of threat but just feels DBZ power creep tier ridiculous.

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Bruno Brito

Honestly? WoW2. Better customization, better character enhancements, better leveling, etc etc. More options towards weaponry ( hunters using throwing weapons ).

WoW is still a solid game, but i really wanted to see what can they do with all the options you have today. Like, imagine creating a Orc on WoW2: Hunchback or not, skin color, size, body shape, face slides, etc etc.

Would be pretty cool.

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Oleg Chebeneev

WoW has tons of customization through transmog system. They dont need WoW2 for that.

duokeks
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duokeks

World revamp with rooted open world multiplayer systems. Vanilla has already been experienced.
smh cataclysm (still shit) has way more complex and deep quest design than vanilla what are people even talking about

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